I’ve reached this point in life where I no longer want to work with people that I just don’t like. Maybe that is selfish, maybe it is wise, but I want to come into work each day surrounded by a team of people that I genuinely enjoy being around. And I have to say, that is 100% the case with our current staff team at Platt Park Church.
Let me tell you just a few reasons why I love these people.
#1. Josh Peterson – Josh is such an awesome mix of super goofy, highly intelligent and plain ‘ol passionate. What you see is what you get and there is just not a lot of “junk” to get through or around with Josh. I love that he is an artist, but not a diva. I love that he loves philosophy and theology and God and people and serving. Josh will roll up his sleeves for just about any project, and I’m so happy he’s on our team.
#2. Lara Hedberg – When Lara opens her mouth she has super wise things to say. She never takes up too much space in the room, but she shines bright in her passion for excellence, her creative eye and her articulate way of pursing Christ in all of life. Lara is un-afraid to state her views even when they are minority views, yet she does it in the most kind and compelling way. I love her wide-eyed eager embracing of a beautiful set of values that guides her daily life.
#3. Amy Borjas – Meet Old Testament scholar in a Children’s pastor role! Amy has a brilliant mind, a kind heart, strength for building systems and an un-paralleled attentiveness to the unique needs of individuals. She makes people feel special by showing each person (no matter their age) a strong level of respect. She makes me love God and the Bible more because of her contagious passion for the scriptures and God’s redemptive plan throughout history.
#4. Tim Grade – Even if we were not married I could not pick a better co-pastor. I have never known a more hard-working person then Tim. He works hard, loves well and can be found fishing with old guys or tinkering in his garage in his spare time. Tim rarely seeks the spotlight or sugar-coats his words, which is why we all trust his leadership and follow his example. I’m lucky to be working with and married to this incredible man. There is no one I respect more.
#5. Gary Aronhalt – You can tell more about a person by how they navigate life’s challenges and disappointments than by how they handle life’s successes. I have seen Gary live with integrity, open-ness and grace in the midst of some struggles and that gives great credibility to his voice and leadership on our team. Plus, if you can run 44 miles on your 44th birthday…ummm, yea, I will respect you.
#6. Steve Rhyner – Church business administrators have the great challenge of keeping big picture visionary pastors’ feet on the ground by being the voice of reality with the church finances. Steve never takes on a “bad-cop” persona, but he keeps us in check with a smile on his face, a spirit of care, and a commitment to being above board on every level of finances for our church. These skills are definitely not in my wheelhouse, so we would really be in trouble without Steve and I am grateful for all he does for us behind-the-scenes.
#7. Ginny Alison – Ginny is the newest member of our staff team and is a pure joy to be around. During her first month on staff, she went out of her way to connect with me (not as the pastor) but as a mom of one of the kids in her program. She cares, and from the perspective of being a new mom, that kind of care can just about make you cry. Plus, Ginny is an eager, smart, justice-minded seminary student with a bright, bright future in service of God’s kingdom.
We are truly blessed to have this kind of team.